Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Not Afraid

Image: Tribute To Victims Killed During Attack At Satirical Magazine Charlie Hebdo At Place De La Republique In Paris

Homeland Security’s drone program a waste of money, audit finds - WaTimes

Homeland Security’s drone program has been a waste of money so far, according to the department’s inspector general, who on Tuesday told the department to cancel plans to spend nearly half a billion dollars on more of the aircraft.
The department paid more than $12,000 an hour to fly its drones, kept them in the air far less than it had promised and chiefly used them over just 170 miles of the 1,993-mile border.
Drones were judged to have helped in less than 2 percent of apprehensions of illegal immigrants.
“We see no evidence that the drones contribute to a more secure border,” Inspector General John Roth said, telling the department to cancel its $443 million order for more drones.....

-bth: it is very likely ISR sensor pods added to off the shelf piloted Cessna aircraft would be cheaper and more effective on the border.  It is not an area denied to flight access like Pakistan or Iran.  Put the drones to use in long range off shore border patrols where they can be used in drug interdiction.

Kerry statement on terror in Paris


Sunday, January 04, 2015

The Tragedy of the American Military - The Atlantic - James Fallows

The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.... http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/12/the-tragedy-of-the-american-military/383516/

-bth: I highly recommend all Americans read this seminal work by James Fallows in The Atlantic in full. 

Jewish settlers attack US officials visiting West Bank (+video) - CSM

Jewish settlers attacked American consular officials Friday during a visit the officials made to the West Bank as part of an investigation into claims of damage to Palestinian agricultural property, Israeli police and Palestinian witnesses say.
The incident is likely to further chill relations between Israel and the United States, already tense over American criticisms of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and Israeli perceptions that President Barack Obama is only lukewarm in his support of Israeli diplomatic and security policies.
Settlers have often spoken against what they call foreign interference in their affairs, but this is the first known physical attack against diplomatic personnel....

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2015/0103/Jewish-settlers-attack-US-officials-visiting-West-Bank-video

-bth: worth reading in full.  Incident is hardly reported in the US.